Jeff is a 32 year old, 6’ 8”, hilarious, animated, caring and fun loving guy. Jeff is a graduate of Jackson Central-Merry High School in Jackson, TN and of Iowa Wesleyan University (2013). Jeff has played professional basketball overseas in 12 different countries. Unfortunately, for the past two years, Jeff had been dealing with a torn patella tendon injury and hadn’t played. All Jeff wanted was the opportunity to play one more time. When Jeff wasn’t playing basketball, he was a club and middle school basketball coach, a trainer, referee and he and I coached the Special Olympics basketball team.
In December, 2019, Jeff left for China to pursue an opportunity to, once again, play basketball. Jeff eagerly headed for China on December 30, 2019.
Jeff had been in China for less than a week when he witnessed a partially clothed woman being repeatedly punched and kicked on a city street. With no hesitation, Jeff ran to the scene to help the woman. Jeff was able to push the man away to ensure that the woman escaped safely from what he believed was a rape in progress. Eight hours later, Jeff was arrested and taken to jail for possible charges that he had caused serious injury to the male who had assaulted the woman. Now, six months later, Jeff is still being detained waiting to see if he will be charged. At the time of arrest, in January, 2020, Jeff was informed that the male who was assaulting the woman had fell and hit his head on the street sustaining a serious head injury. It wasn’t until April, 2020, that it came to our attention that the male who was assaulting the woman had actually walked away from the scene and did not go to the hospital until five hours after the incident took place! More recently, we learned that the assailant passed away after a long period of being in a coma.
Jeff was trying to offer the woman assistance in a time of need. His only intention was to defend and help the woman who was being attacked.
I am asking for $50,000 to help cover the following costs:
Lawyer fees: $30,000 (to be represented professionally in court and have the best chance of getting back home to the US and out of China).
Compensation to the family: $15,500 (the man’s family has requested compensation to cover medical bills, etc. Compensation to the family may increase Jeff’s chances of getting out sooner. China’s laws and justice system are different than the US.
Travel back to the US: $2950 (airfare costs, transportation to the Hong Kong airport by boat, plus taxi’s, shuttles, etc. to and from each airport and incidentals such as meals and hotel).
Mental Health/Medical: $1550 (for some much needed mental and medical professional help. Jeff does not have medical benefits. Knowing that he may have caused serious harm to someone is weighing heavily on his mental health. He will also need a physical, blood work, etc. upon return to the US).
Due in part to restrictions and shutdowns instituted to stop the spread of Covid-19 in China, little progress has been made on his case. Now, with Covid-19 related shutdowns in the US, most of his friends and family, including myself, aren’t working and cannot possibly earn these funds on his behalf.
For Jeff, this was a case of social morality, he was simply trying to help and defend another human being from violence and trauma and in no way were Jeff’s intentions to hurt anybody! It’s a very unfortunate and sad situation for all involved.
ANY donation amount will be extremely appreciated and can make a huge difference for Jeff’s future and life. Lets bring Jeff Harper home, a US citizen, locked up in a foreign country, who was trying to help and defend a fellow human being by being a Good Samaritan.
Updates on the case to follow as I receive them as well as pictures/screenshots of Jeff when I am allowed to speak to him by phone.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas on how to help in other ways or if you want more information about his story.
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